I LOVE WEDDINGS! If I could have my way, I would be the first guest to arrive and the last to leave at each wedding to which I am invited. From the time I was a small girl my heart thrilled at the idea of being part of a wedding party.
First it was the longing to be chosen as a flower girl. Then as a young woman I yearned to stand with the bride as her maid of honor. And then of course I dreamed of being the bride in my own wedding! To daydream, plan for, and carry out the myriad details of such a special day was not work for me as much as it was fun.
One of Jesus’ most important stories is set at a wedding. In this story of challenge and warning, Jesus tells His followers about 10 women; these women represent us, and some commentaries suggest they represent God’s church.
All 10 women are invitees to a wedding. All are excited, expectant, perhaps even honored to be among the guests. But the Bridegroom is delayed, and the celebration is put on hold as everyone waits. The wait is more than a few minutes; it is a long wait!
Does this story relate to us? Yes, indeed. Take the five foolish virgins, who went off to buy more oil and upon returning discovered that the Bridegroom had already come and the door was shut. This passage challenges me as a pastor’s wife. Am I ready for Jesus’ return? What oil am I lacking? Is it the oil of compassion for my husband or in supporting
him? Is it the oil of being still before Christ, or the oil of mercy?
This is a personal question for each of us to answer. Can you be still and ask the Lord to speak to your heart about your “oil lack”? Unlike the five foolish virgins, who were scampering around trying to buy “oil,” you and I can show up at the wedding prepared and not lacking, with an extra vessel filled.
You may ask, “How in the world do I fill this extra need? I’m so tired. Is it one more thing I have to do? The church members are draining me. My husband’s schedule wearies me. The children’s demands don’t stop.”
Jesus wants to provide you with the extra oil. He is the miracle worker. The wise virgins knew this.
He is still the miracle worker. Jesus is still the Bridegroom wanting to help us get the extra oil to persist in our waiting. It is nothing that we have to drum up on our own. When we recognize the need and ask, Jesus longs to pour out living water (and oil) into our vessels and perform another wedding miracle.